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Thread: Engorged overnight

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    165

    Default Engorged overnight

    Hi there, my 14 week old is finally going 4 hour stretches at night and since I have oversupply and only need to offer one breast, one breast goes 8 hours without getting emptied and starts to get a bit painful... It is not big pain, but I just wondered if I should be concerned or take any action. I try to avoid pumping as much as I can and am thinking my supply will eventually level out? Tia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Engorged overnight

    Personally I think going 8 hours is too long, and yes it would be painful. Here are a few things you could do:

    1. Try offering both breasts. If baby nurses for 20 minutes total, nurse on one side for 10, then switch to the other. Then at least both breasts are being somewhat emptied regularly.

    2. Nurse one side until baby slows or seems done. Offer the other, gently stroking baby's face, hair, hand, etc to slightly wake. A diaper change can also be effective at rousing baby for a second nursing session. If baby doesn't want to nurse more, you can either pump or hand express the unused breast to relieve the pressure.

    I've used both techniques and have established a rhythm of nursing for about 12-15 minutes on one side, then switching to the other, which DD will take for anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Sometimes a new breast with faster flowing milk is enough to get baby to nurse more.

    If baby is try satisfied with one breast, you definitely want to at least partially empty the other. The end goal is to preserve milk production to prolong your breastfeeding relationship. Having one Breast go for so long and be painful tells your body to slow production. With such a young baby, you will want to protect your supply. A quick hand expression may be all you need (with experience, I am able to hand express an ounce in about 5 minutes).

    It may be a moot point anyways, as the 4 hour stretch may not be permanent. Teething, new gross motor development, or other happenings might create a more wakeful and hungry baby. Baby sleep is not linear; baby may sleep longer then shorter periods throughout the first year.
    Last edited by @llli*andie613; December 26th, 2015 at 10:29 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Engorged overnight

    Thank you. The issue with my over production is he only eats for maybe 10 minutes tops and is very satisfied with one breast, sort of choking a bit the whole time..he can spit up etc if he takes two breasts...I guess I could cut him off the first one a bit early...I was a bit worried that if I do that he will only get foremilk and miss out on hind milk?..also I never know when he might take 2 hours between feeds! I am probably over thinking it
    Last edited by @llli*scoob4751; December 26th, 2015 at 11:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Engorged overnight

    The "issues" with foremilk/hindmilk have nothing to do baby "missing out" on hindmilk. It is a problem of baby getting more foremilk all at once than baby can digest easily, and for most babies this is not in any way an actual problem either. Basically, it is not just you. Everyone seems to overthink foremilk/hindmilk!

    If you really want baby to get more hindmilk and less foremilk, the best thing to do is to encourage baby to nurse more often overall- including overnight. I am not saying this is needed, as long as baby is gaining fine it probably is not needed. But it is always smart to encourage baby to nurse often enough that you do not become engorged as andie613 suggests.

    If you cannot get baby to take both breasts, I agree, try hand expressing the other. Even if you do not bother to save the milk. You can hand express into a cloth without even getting out of bed. Avoiding engorgement is important.

    On the other hand, a mom whose baby is gaining fine and baby is nursing with normal, good overall frequency, need not make sure baby nurses both sides every time- or ever, really. Nursing both sides every session is a milk production increasing technique, and as such is not appropriate in all cases. Sometimes it results in more than enough milk. Sometimes there is too much of a good thing. So what works best nursing pair to nursing pair is going to vary.

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